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The Growth of Obesity in the UK and Weight-Loss Surgery

Whether we like to hear it or not, obesity is now of epidemic proportions in the UK with over 15 million Britons classified as obese. More than 6 out of 10 men and 5 out of 10 women are overweight or obese.

Obesity carries with it related health risks including diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), sleep apnoea, heart disease, cancer, depression, low back pain and infertility. Given the seriousness of the condition and the growing problem, it is perhaps understandable (and maybe even reassuring) that more weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) is now being undertaken in the UK.

There are three main types of bariatric surgery as follows:-

  • Sleeve gastrectomy (surgical reduction of the stomach to approximately a third of the size,) 48%
  • Gastric bypass (gut/colon connected to top of stomach leaving a pouch stomach the size of an egg) 42%
  • Gastric banding 8%

Other rarer forms of surgery account for the remaining 2% .

Each of the above procedures results in weight loss of between 20 and 30%. It is however important that the patient adopts lifestyle changes and undergoes psychological assessment and follow-up in order to achieve greater and lasting weight-loss. Whilst the weight-loss procedures carry with them risks and complications, some of which can be very serious, the surgery is life-saving and life- changing as long as you are in the right hands. Thankfully bariatric surgery is more regulated and protocol-driven and safer than ever now.